Thanksgiving Forum

Happy Thanksgiving from OTB!

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. MarkedMan says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it, and Happy Thursday to the rest!

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:


  3. clarkontheweekend says:

    OK, I guess I’ll be the first to ask – where’s our beloved, ritual WKRP Thanksgiving day drop?!

    5am here in Milwaukee, high of 50 today, looking like a great day on tap. Happy Thanksgiving to the OTB community, don’t post much but really enjoy my daily perusal on this site. Have a good one!

  4. Franklin says:

    I’m grateful for the OTB crowd that has educated and entertained me for more than a decade. I hope you are all as healthy and happy as can be reasonably expected!

  5. MarkedMan says:

    Gotta admit, the 5K Turkey Trot seemed like a great idea when I agreed a couple of weeks ago during unseasonably warm weather. Just checked and it’s 33 degrees outside (1 degree for the Celsius crowd). This bed I’m about to roll out of is awfully warm.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today in animal news:

    X-ray discovers cat trapped inside checked bag at New York’s JFK airport

    It is assumed the furtive feline climbed into the baggage without being noticed as the passenger packed, before being unwittingly zipped inside, taken to the aircraft and checked in. As soon as the X-ray machine saw the cat, the luggage was opened. The cat was rescued safe and sound.

    Something tells me the cat was none too grateful. Probably said something along the lines of, “About damn time!”

    Alaska firefighters rescue baby moose trapped in home

    “It looks like the moose had been trying to eat some vegetation by the window well of a basement window and fell into it, and then fell into the basement through the glass,” Thompson said.

    A biologist from the Alaska department of fish and game was able to tranquilize the moose but the animal was not completely unconscious. “He was still looking around and sitting there, he just wasn’t running around,” Thompson said.

    Once sedated, the next problem was getting the moose – which weighed at least 500lb – out of the house. Improvising, responders grabbed a big transport tarp typically used as a stretcher for larger human patients. Once the moose was in position, it took six men to carry him through the house and outside.
    Once the sedative wore off, the moose apparently had his fill of human companionship and wanted to get back to the wild. “He got up and took off,” Thompson said.

    A 500 lb “baby.”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: As my old man always said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

  8. CSK says:

    Kanye West claimed on Twitter that he visited Mar-a-Lago and asked Trump to be his running mate in 2024.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    When Jayme Erickson arrived at the scene of the crash on an icy stretch of Alberta highway on 15 November, she found a teenage girl with severe injuries that Erickson knew were probably fatal. Owing to the severity of the girl’s injuries, Erickson could not recognise her.

    Erickson worked for nearly half an hour to remove the girl from the vehicle and stayed with her until the teenager could be airlifted to a nearby hospital in Calgary.

    When Erickson got home at the end of her shift, she was met by police officers who said her 17-year-old daughter, Montana, had been the victim of the crash. She was advised that the injuries were “not compatible with life” and Montana was taken off life support.

    “The critically injured patient I had just attended to was my own flesh and blood. My only child. My mini me. My daughter, Montana,” she wrote to family and friends. “Although I am thankful for the 17 years I had with her, I am shattered and left wondering. What would you have become, my baby girl? Who would you have been?

    “I am shattered. I am broken. I am missing a piece of me. I am left to pick up the pieces and expected to carry on.”
    Erickson said she wanted the world to know about the daughter she had lost. “She would love fiercely if you were her friend. She would love you to the end of the world and back and she would do anything for you. She was a fighter. And she fought,” she said.

    Words fail me.

  10. Kylopod says:

    I suspect that one of the things people here are most thankful for this year is something they are less likely to say out loud at their Thanksgiving family gathering.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s the time of year when millions of turkeys across the US might justifiably fear for their safety, but in one Massachusetts town the birds have turned the tables, ganging up to “terrorize” residents with pecks, kicks and loud clucking.

    People in Woburn, north-west of Boston, have been subjected to a barrage of attacks and intimidation by a group of five wild turkeys, with the situation forcing some to take up improvised weapons and residents reporting being trapped in their homes.

    The turkeys, led by a male bird nicknamed Kevin, arrived two years ago. Initially the birds were docile, but as time passed they have become ever more pugnacious, leaving Woburners fearful for their safetyand forced to adapt their behavior.

    “They don’t let you out of your house,” said Meaghan Tolson, who lives in Woburn and has named the turkeys.

    “They peck at cars, they stop traffic. They go after kids on bikes. If you’re walking or jogging, or anything like that, they come for you.”
    “Some days it is frustrating. I’ll be like: ‘Oh my God, there’s an Amazon package’ and I can’t go get it, because the turkeys are there. “Then I just have to wait until nightfall. I’ve kind of adjusted over time to it. I know their routine now, so I can kind of work around [them].”

    Ummmm… No. Just no.

    MassWildlife even has a guidance page on its website: “talking turkey”.

    “Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten a bold, aggressive turkey with loud noises, swatting with a broom or water sprayed from a hose,” MassWildlife says. According to a “living with wild turkeys” factsheet, residents can avoid conflict by not feeding them and keeping bird feeders raised off the ground. It also advises: “Don’t let turkeys intimidate you”.

  12. CSK says:


    I forget which Mass. town it was, but we had an incident a few years ago in which the wild turkeys took over a school bus stop and drove off the little kids, chasing them and pecking at them.

  13. Sleeping Dog says:

    Happy Turkey day to all of you, and that includes you, @OzarkHillbilly:

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oldest cooked leftovers ever found suggest Neanderthals were foodies

    Charred remnants of what appears to be the world’s oldest cooked meal ever found have been unearthed in a cave complex in northern Iraq, prompting speculation that Neanderthals may have been foodies.

    “Our findings are the first real indication of complex cooking – and thus of food culture – among Neanderthals,” said Chris Hunt, a professor of cultural paleoecology at Liverpool John Moores University, who coordinated the excavation.

    Hunt and his colleagues have even tried to recreate one of the recipes, using seeds gathered from nearby the caves. “It made a sort of pancake-cum-flatbread which was really very palatable – a sort of nutty taste,” Hunt said.

    The burned food remnants – the oldest ever found – were recovered from the Shanidar Cave site, a Neanderthal dwelling 500 miles north of Baghdad in the Zagros Mountains. Thought to be about 70,000 years old, they were discovered in one of many ancient hearths in the caves.
    Hunt said: “Because the Neanderthals had no pots, we presume that they soaked their seeds in a fold of an animal skin.”

    However, unlike modern chefs, Neanderthals did not appear to hull their seeds to remove the outer coat – a process that largely eliminates bitter-tasting compounds. This could suggest that they wanted to reduce but not eliminate the pulses’ natural flavours. Assuming they pounded the seeds using local rocks, the final product may also have been somewhat gritty. “Having sampled the re-created recipe, I think we can understand why the Neanderthals had teeth in such a degraded state,” Hunt said.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “In the road of life, holidays are potholes.” I don’t remember who it was that said it, but it always rang true to me.

  16. JohnSF says:

    Happy Thankyou Day, one and all.

    Meanwhile in the UK, our Turkeys remain in happy ignorance for a couple more weeks.

  17. becca says:

    There’s a light rain here, but very mild. The lake is misty and the geese are quiet. I’ve got the breakfast casserole in the oven, hot coffee in the percolator (old-school). Maybe we’ll have a fire later, to ward off the damp.
    So far, so good on this day of counting one’s blessings!

  18. Michael Cain says:

    Chilly and windy right now. Just about 60% of our municipal utility’s current electricity supply is wind and hydro power. Might jump to 65% when the sun pops up over the clouds in a bit.

  19. Kathy says:

    When I say “there are other countries in the world,” I mean even the manifest destiny all-mighty USA can watch and learn from others.

    For instance, in Brazil a judge not only rejected a bad faith election challenge, but fined the participants for their trouble as well.

    This is not to mean that election results can’t be challenged. But if they are, the challenger must present real, existing, and substantive evidence, not merely make claims and invoke vague conspiracy theories backed up by rage and wishful thinking. And if you don’t have it, or it doesn’t even exist, then there will be consequences for wasting the court’s time.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Well, the maga election deniers had their cases thrown out of court 64 times for lack of evidence and iirc Giuliani and Powell are in danger of being disbarred for their shenanigans..

  21. Beth says:

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    I’m here thinking I should have brought some edibles or like a half a tab of acid. Nothing disruptive mind you, just enough to get twitchy and make everyone else incomprehensible.


    “Hey everyone! Let us toast to my up-coming penis amputation! Huzzah!! One unit!! Huzzah!!” [half of Lillydale, MN drops dead]

  22. CSK says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene celebrated her reinstatement to Twitter by asking her followers to give her $700,000 to pay her legal bill.

    If you wish to donate, you may go here:

  23. CSK says:

    Is everybody eating?

  24. Kathy says:

    To wrap up his Revolutions podcast, Mike Duncan is doing several appendices with observations, notes, and generalizations of the various revolutions he’s covered over the years. How and why revolutions happen, how they tend to develop, what forces tend to oppose them, why there tend to be several waves, etc.

    This si not a rigorous academic study, but he’s made several good points. There have been nine so far, and at least one more is coming. I plan to re-listen to all of them together when he’s done.

  25. Kathy says:


    I’m working.

    My guess is everyone is cooking, or watching the Bills and Lions.

  26. Jax says:

    @CSK: Just got done with prep and everything is cooking away in the oven. My Mom’s not feeling too well, so I’m doing most of it here to take over there.

    Honestly, I’m hiding. My brother and his family are here and I spend as little time as possible around them. I’m the heathen of the family, it’s always really awkward. 😛

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Ghana versus Portugal

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Not yet, but it’s not even noon here. Soda bread’s in the oven though.

  29. CSK says:

    Question: Is it a regional custom to have Thanksgiving dinner at noon rather than in the evening? I’ve never been to one that wasn’t held in the evening. I’m from the northeast.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: My family had it in the evening when I was growing up but at some point it moved to mid-afternoon. Then, when Ma got to the point where she just didn’t feel like doing all that work, they dropped it all together in favor of eating at a restaurant.

  31. Jax says:

    @CSK: We usually have ours about 2 pm. But we have deviled eggs, a veggie tray and shrimp to graze on beforehand.

  32. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Jax:
    Thanks. I was just curious.

  33. CSK says:

    If you need a laugh:

    Mike Lindell will challenge Ronna McDaniel for the chair of the RNC, but only if God wills it.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I don’t know about regional traditions related to early TG dinner, but in our family, the dinner was early because either my dad or my uncle had a 3 or so hour drive back home and didn’t want to travel after dark on those famous blue highways of the memoir of the same name.

  35. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, that sounds like a sensible precaution rather than a custom.

  36. Jen says:


    I always have had Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. Midwest friends would eat early afternoon.

  37. Kathy says:

    Today Elon looked around the web and said “Oh, it’s you. What are you so thankful about?” And then went and did this.

    I may reconsider joining Twitter again if 1) it still exists some time from now and 2) Elon is banned for life (naturally after someone takes the company off his hands).

  38. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I screwed my whole family up by having the Turkey and stuffing done just before the requested time, 4:00pm

  39. DrDaveT says:


    Is it a regional custom to have Thanksgiving dinner at noon rather than in the evening? I’ve never been to one that wasn’t held in the evening. I’m from the northeast.

    Like others above, we always went for mid-afternoon. Today was aiming for 3 PM, but our hostess was running a little behind on the turkey and we ended up starting about 3:45. Nibbles beforehand starting about noon, but the main event in mid-late afternoon. Since none of us eat like we used to, dessert was a separate seating a bit later, rather than sheer continuous gluttony.

    This was my brother’s in-laws’ event: roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, green beans (token non-brown food), mashed potatoes and home-made egg noodles in broth from my mother (our family tradition), smoked turkey breast from my brother, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce straight from the can. Three different wines.

    The dinner rolls were superfluous, IMHO.

  40. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: Well, you did better than me. As I stated previously, my Mom’s not been….”feeling good”. I was up til midnight last night prepping everything so all I had to do this morning was add final seasonings and slide them in the oven either at my house or my Mom’s. Figured she was probably good to at least keep an eye on them.

    1:40 PM my Mom calls me and says she can’t find the stuffing. What the actual fuck, man, I mixed it all together and put it in the pan and loaded it my own damn self into the back of the buggy to be taken over to my Mom’s to cook in the oven at 11?!

    Panicked calls, panicked calls, can’t find the stuffing.

    I go over there, and the stuffing is happily cooking away in my Mom’s oven.

    Siiiiigh. 😛 😛